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From the Desk of Dr. Len

What Sweetener to Use

Dr. Len Lopez - Wednesday, June 17, 2015


what sweetener to use;natural sweeteners versus artificial sweetenersSugar is everywhere and marketers try to lure you to buy there products based on sugar or the lack of sugar.


Keep in mind that sugars are carbohydrates and we need carbs, but we want to stay away from the bad carbs. Not all carbs or sugars are the same but we don’t want to be slowing down our metabolism and placing ourselves at risk of weight gain, cravings, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes because we are using the wrong sugar.


The first thing you need to consider is that sugar is granulated it is Not a syrup! Whether you know it or not but your body processes granulated sugar more efficiently than it does sugar that comes in a syrup form.


If you were to take the same amount of carbs from both granulated sugar and those from a syrup (high fructose corn syrup, molasses, agave, etc.) your body would utilize the granulated sugar more efficiently. Let me say it another way….there is a larger negative impact on your blood sugar and insulin response when you consume sugars from a syrup, as opposed sugar from syrups.


I would always recommend a granulated sugar over any type of syrup and would always try and use RAW Sugar or Stevia first. Yes, I use to recommend agave, but have learned more and stay away from it because of the fructose component.


The biggest reason you see so many packaged foods, cookies and even health bars use syrups are because it mixes better. Unfortunately it has more of a negative effect on your metabolism. This is why I would try and stay away or minimize as many foods that are made with syrups.


The only syrup I would recommend is Raw, Unfiltered honey (my kids love it on the pancakes and French toast). It is loaded with so many nutrients, especially your B-vitamins, and there have been so many studies done on its nutritional value.


As far as comparing sugar to artificial sweeteners – there is No Contest. I would always choose granulated sugar, even the ‘white’ packets over any of the artificial sweeteners (pink, blue, yellow packets) because these sugars have all been chemically altered. You are basically ingesting some type of chemical into your body. Sure your blood sugar may not go up, but what is it doing to your liver and kidneys? Is it having a neurological effect on your brain and the chemical pathways your body normally follows?


All in all, I would always reach for the Raw granulated sugars first. I think stevia is another great natural choice that's at the top of my list. Remember about 30-40 years ago all the soft drinks, juices and other food products used to use sugar. It’s also about the time the less expensive syrups hit the market, namely your high fructose corn syrup.


FYI...Sugars are carbohydrates. Sugar slows your bowels, which isn't a good thing in our highly constipated society. And sugar is what feeds your cancer cells - so be aware.

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